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Navy Federal Credit Union Scores on Facebook Contest

by | Nov 26, 2013

By Debbie Friez, Tech Editor

Arlington-based Navy Federal Credit Union wanted to celebrate reaching four-million members in August 2012. They also wanted to give back to their members. The result was a Facebook contest campaign with staggering results. Don Varela, social media lead, Navy Federal, shared his insights on the campaign

Navy Federal asked their members to express through video “Why you love Navy Federal” and share it on Facebook. Each winning video would receive a $4,000 certificate of deposit. Runners-up received $1,000 certificate of deposits. They partnered with Buddy Media to create a Facebook app for submissions. Members could also stop by their local branch and create a video, there. The contest was also promoted with a Facebook ad.

Top submissions were posted to the Navy Federal’s Facebook page. The top three from each of the six categories were picked by the executive team. Because there were so many great videos, two more honorable mention categories were added. The members cast 45,000 votes for the winners, with the winners receiving big checks at their local branch.

In addition, for the final week of the campaign, Navy Federal offered a 4% CD rate, auto loan rebate and $40 for referrals of new members. They did do some traditional print ads for these specials, but all other parts of the campaign were only promoted on social media or through their branches.


– 60,000 new members;
– Fan-base increase five times to 185,000;
– 25 times the higher-than-average conversion rate to corporate website for one-week specials;
– 36,000 new certificates, totaling $90 million;
– 5,400 auto refinance loans for $96 million;
– 59% of traffic driven to corporate page during the one-week specials came from Facebook.

Lessons Learned:
Over 60% of Navy Federal’s followers are on mobile, so not having a mobile app prohibited some from entering or slowed-down the entry process.

The logistics of uploading videos from the branches was not optimal. They would use a cloud service over Fed Ex in the future.

Varela said they will not be doing a video campaign again, soon. They did a smaller one in May, but he feels their fans will become bored with the same contest.

Social media is there to serve and help their members and should just be an extension of their contact center and branches.

They add social media channels when they find ones their members can identify, but Facebook remains their number one. In January, they will be promoting a new Twitter handle, @NavyFederalHelp, for customer service issues. By separating the customer service from other outreach, they will better be able to see trends.

“The cool thing about social media is a lot of it is marketing, but it doesn’t sound salesy…. You have to sound and look like a friend versus like you are selling something,” said Verela.

About the Author

Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.


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